Back to Black: The Music of Amy Winehouse
- Henry Northmore
- 5 August 2019
Things don't go to plan at this celebration of modern jazz
The Fringe can be unpredictable. Not everything goes right every time. Perhaps unconsciously echoing the real Amy Winehoue's hectic life, a powercut means tonight's performance of Back to Black almost doesn't happen, until someone gets the bright idea of a one-off alfresco acoustic show in the courtyard.
Thankfully Reine Beau Anderson Dudley doesn't don a cheap black beehive; Back to Black is about the music rather than fancy dress, and she puts everything into tonight's show, valiantly battling to save it from technical meltdown. A few people leave but the majority stay, willing Dudley and her band on.
So while you won't get exactly the same show indoors, we can report that Dudley has a fantastic voice that does justice to the material. Her vocals are rich and thick with character, capturing Winehouse's distinctive twang without drifting into parody. The band are also light on their feet, effortlessly adapting to the turn of events as they play all the hits you'd want to hear, including 'Back to Black', 'Valerie', 'Monkey Man', 'Love is a Losing Game'.
You can't fault their effort, and they almost manage to turn disaster into triumph. But factors outside their control – mainly the hum of a huge outdoor generator – mean their skill and resilience is sorely tested.
theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall, until 24 Aug, 7.20pm, £14 (£12.50).